I was jazzed when I saw a new restaurant opened in Canton.
I was even more jazzed when I saw it wasn’t another burger place with fried food. No hate to burger joints (I may or may not have eaten two burgers in one sitting recently). It’s just nice to mix it up, and that’s why co-owner of Sioux Valley Grille Ken O’Brien said he and chef Peter Cobb opened up their doors on 5th Street.
“It’s always a challenge to figure out where to eat around here,” he said after we were greeted at the host stand, which was adorned with a custom wooden sign made for them. “There isn’t much of a variety.”
The duo wanted to give a range of fresh options, while not risking getting too adventurous with “American comfort food” as their niche.
As we walked into the intimate venue that can seat up to 50 patrons, it was neat to see different styles of materials incorporated into the historic building space. We asked O’Brien about it, and he mentioned they’re all reclaimed pieces from different barns in the area.
I really dug the vibe with different mood lighting, including a red accent light that splashed down the exposed brick wall.
We were excited to start out our experience with two of their specialty cocktails. The Snow Bunny was made with sweet cream and a blend of vodka, creme de cacao, Kahlua, and half and half served over ice, garnished with freshly-ground nutmeg. The rich beverage is great for coffee lovers, and definitely would make a nice nightcap or dessert drink.
The Fireside was a lighter choice, and consisted of Grey Goose vodka, maple syrup, salt, grapefruit juice, and rosemary. It got me excited for patio weather, and was a refreshing start to the meal.
From the array of appetizers, we selected the Choice Sirloin Beef Chislic, which was 10 ounces of fried sirloin beef cubes, served with smoked sea salt, red wine salt, and garlic rosemary salt. The plate and presentation were both adorable, and reminded me of a paint palette… but for chislic. I got excited and rolled my first piece into the smoked sea salt.
At that moment, the chef stopped by to see how it was looking and watched my poor decision making in action.
“People tend to think of it like sauce, and it’s not sauce. It’s salt,” he said with a smirk.
My co-worker was already dipping hers in a less impactful way, and nodded in agreement.
“Be careful with your dip, and you’re good,” she said.
They were correct, and it was fun mixing up each bite with the different salt options.
Next up, the Thai Steak & Noodle Salad. It. Was. Beautiful. Green leaf lettuce was stacked with grilled flat iron steak, noodles, tomatoes, crushed peanuts, cilantro, basil, mango, and a Thai sweet chili vinaigrette. I was surprised with the first bite to taste that the noodles were cold.
Also, the lettuce was a little intense, as the pieces were large and hard to contain. Pretty soon we were both dropping bites and trying to keep it from sliding off the plate.
The meal was delicious, but we agreed that we wouldn’t dare eat it in front of someone we wanted to impress or not be a hot mess in front of.
The Grille Cedar Plank Salmon Plate arrived as well. The eight-ounce Sockeye salmon filet was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled on top of a cedar plank, and served with a garlic, lemon, and chive butter sauce. We had our first bite.
“This is some of the best salmon I’ve ever had,” said my co-worker.
She was right. And the vegetable sides and rice pilaf were to die for. I found myself making noises while eating, and doing my “food high” arm dance as I chewed.
Last, but not least, was the Chicken Fried Steak with tenderized sirloin tri-tip steak, breaded and fried golden brown, served with mashed potatoes and gravy and a side of sauteed vegetables. If anyone knows me, mashed potatoes are my jam, and pretty much what I lived off of in the cafeteria in college. These obviously put the cafeteria to shame (and that gravy, though!).
The crunchy, fried outer layer was divine, and the main entree was the definition of comfort food. I was about ready for a nap after inhaling half of it, even when I was already full.
I love restaurants that really put their heart and soul not only into the food, but into the ambiance. The charming repurposed materials from local barns and adorable tractors that light up in the booths (see side bar) add to the experience, along with the mood lighting and classical music in the background. It’s a great addition to Canton, and is close to towns like Harrisburg. I know I’ll be making the drive again soon to get my hands (or fork, I should say) on that salmon again.
Farm Toys by Spencer
Adorable John Deere toy tractors light up the room inside of each booth. The collection is from Spencer Wenbourne out of Beresford, who has Farm Toys by Spencer. For more information, call (605) 214-0657.
The reclaimed details, the mood lighting, the music, the staff, the branding… I loved every aspect of the restaurant. I’m excited already thinking about going back. This location will literally drive more people into town.
This place is very affordable. Most items average around $8.95. For the large serving sizes you get, it’s almost a steal. If you want something like a steak, plan more around $13-$18.
I already said it, but I will definitely go back just for the salmon. Each plated item had strong flavors. That was also the best chislic presentation I’ve seen, and I’m originally from South Dakota, so I know my stuff. There is a nice variety of cocktails as well, which would make for a fun night out with my ladies or for a date.
Rating Scale: Ambiance ++++ | Average Price Per Meal: $—$10 & under; $$—$20 & under; $$$—$30 & under; $$$$—over $30 | Taste ++++
It’s the Facts
Sioux Valley Grille’s hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.
Almost everything on the menu is created from scratch.
The business is family-owned by stepbrothers Ken O’Brien and Peter Cobb, and this is their first restaurant venture.